Sunday, November 28, 2021

It's Early This Year

There have been the slightest of dustings in parts of town, but as of today, Denver has yet to record its first measurable snowfall of the winter. We've blown past the prior early 1930s record of November 21st, and there's nothing in the forecast that shows any sign of this changing soon.

So with Thanksgiving over and December looming, the fact that Hanukkah starts at sundown tonight (Sunday) caught me a bit off guard. I do have potatoes on hand for the appropriate seasonal treat, but it just doesn't feel like I'm quite ready for the holiday to appear so early this year.

Mom, on the other hand, had this all squared away and ready for takeoff. As usual, she found a card from my Eight Men Out want list and presented it to me inside a greeting card. 

I know she always worries about whether she got me "the right card". Frankly, the fact that she frequently takes the time to check my specific want list in the first place is plenty generous all on its own. And getting baseball cards in general is no small feat in this supply-constrained era.

So is it "the right card"?

1994 Stadium Club First Day Issue #372 Roberto Kelly /2,000

Well, technically no, but (and I told her this), it's way better. All I did was put an overproduction-era Stadium Club card on the list, and she goes and finds me a First Day Issue parallel. They're quite scarce for the era, having a stated print run of 2,000. They aren't serial numbered, but as overproduction-era parallels go, this is a needle in a haystack. In checking my 1994 binder, this is is the fifth one I've been able to add to the collection after all these years, and it remains one of my favorite parallels of the entire era.

My main motivation for wanting this card was the cameo. That's Vinny Castilla on the left, covering second base in an inaugural-year Mile High Stadium. I did see the Reds play the Rockies in 1993, but that was the final home game of the season. Unfortunately, Roberto Kelly, the main subject of this card, suffered a separated shoulder in mid-July and missed the rest of the season. That would mean this photo couldn't have been from a game I attended, but that does at least narrow it down to one particular series in June.

Roberto Kelly and his Reds had back-and-forth slugfests that week with the young Rockies, and I believe this photo is from the third and final game of the series, a 15-5 blowout win for Colorado. In the top of the 4th on June 23rd, 1993, Kelly stole 2nd base with Chris Sabo at the plate. Castilla was playing short that day, and it looks like Kelly beat the throw quite easily. There might not have been a throw at all, actually. The speedy center fielder stole third base a few pitches later, but was stranded there.

Interestingly, the card back mentions that Kelly, a two-time All-Star, stole third base nine times in his injury-shortened 1993 season, but doesn't quite manage to tell us that one of those SBs came mere moments after this photo was snapped. 

That's the value I'm adding here at Infield Fly Rule.

That's all to report for today, a quick one-card post (thanks, Mom!) and the weather forecast. Thank you for stopping by!

1 comment:

  1. This particular stamp was my favorite of the various 1st Day's over the years. It is a simple looking parallel, especially by today's standards, but was a pretty big deal way back when -- and for some of us, still is today! Yay Mom!